Spring is in full swing, and the bears of Kronotsky Nature Reserve leave their dens. Rested and gained strength, they relax in the sunlight and enjoy themselves.
Several shots made in April. Kronotsky Volcano.
Lake Kronotsky. Kizimen still erupting.
A fox on the frozen Kronotsky lake.
What does the bear want from the helicopter?
The beast is waiting until people fly away and leave a few drops of kerosene on the ground. The teddy then will have been sniffing these droplets for a long time. Then it will dig a hole in that place and will be lying there in nirvana.
Exactly like this one.
The helicopter once brought several barrels of fuel to the reserve. The workers didn’t have time to roll them to the barn, and one of the bears immediately took an opportunity to sniff its favorite aroma.
The last ten days of April were very warm, and bears started leaving their dens. This process usually lasts three months on Kamchatka: from mid March to early June. Males and childless females leave the dens first, then come moms with cubs.
Now bears have no regular food. By a lucky chance, some of them find edible remains by the ocean or thawed carrion. They try to eat plants, last year’s berries, dig up burrows of marmots and ground squirrels, get the remains of the died since last year spawning from under the ice layer. But all this doesn’t cover their energy costs in yet such a cold season.
They survive at the expense of their fat stores. There is a myth that bears leave their dens being exhausted, hungry and angry. But in fact, they are not like this at all. When sleeping they spend no more than 30-40% of body fat. The rest is left for hungry springtime. The animals will have become thin only by June. And now they are in excellent shape and don’t seem to suffer at all.
It’s much more difficult to survive for mothers with juveniles because the latter live only at the expense of their mothers’ body fat and milk. Besides, females with cubs don’t go to the best forage sites usually occupied by dominant males because some of them are inclined to cannibalism.
For the sake of the last year’s decomposed fish head a bear is now ready to dig snow and break ice. But it’s mainly done for fun because it will take much more energy than the head will give in return…
The den of a bear. Bears have a habit – after leaving a den they spend a few days nearby it so that to get used to the daylight.
Well-formed, clean with shiny fur and eyes screwed up in the midday sun they sit not far away from their winter apartment.
A couple of shots of erupting Kizimen.
And some photos of the inspector raid along the northern borders of the reserve which lasted four days. The aim was to check the status of the territory and transitional huts, count the animals.
It was held not far from Kizimen Volcano, in the area of a strong ash fall.
Night at the Kronotsky Reserve.
Location: Kronotsky Nature Reserve